Succulents and peace.  Two of my favorite things.  (FYI, that’s my guy’s hand.  The biggest glimpse I’ve granted yet!)

Alright.  A little overwhelmed here.  I feel like I have nothing of value to say.  All I can conjure is “thank you so much,” and “what an honor” and other sappiness like that.  Here’s the deal: you guys nominated me, and now THIS IS HAPPENING: I’m a flippin’ FINALIST in the Best Real Bride Wedding Blog category.  Say WHAT?!!  My excitement over this is beyond measure.  But, as I sit here trying to come up with something worth reading, my mind just keeps spitting out “duuhhhh.”

Point is, I’ve pulled up to this weird place called “a loss for words.”  You freaking people actually touched me so much that I don’t really know what to say.  Obvs., this morning’s post is going to be sort of brief, because I’m actually a little choked up right now.  I realize I’m being ridiculous – it IS just a blogger award.  But it’s like THE ONE I want, so badly.  So it gets me, it gets me right heeaaahh (points to heart).  Ok, getting on with it… I’m going to ask you a little favor: would you kindly vote for me?  If you already did, I appreciate it like crazy.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.  But if you haven’t… would you?  Each and every vote makes a serious difference.  You’d be surprised.  It’s nothing at all like American elections.  Just click here, or on this wee badge, below:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart you guys!


In other news, my sister’s pwecious wittle babies are coming into town tonight, so to celebrate becoming a finalist… but moreso general family togetherness, which is far too rare since they live across the nation, I’m planning for us all to hang in the backyard and do a little o’ this (we’ve got heaps of leftover sparklers to burn up):

Also, I’d love to try on a few of these, wouldn’t you?

And I’d to go here:

{sparklers: Elizabeth Messina / Lovely Bridal dresses: Sweet Little Photographs / beach: 20×200}

I’m gonna leave you for now with one of my favorite quotes of pretty much ever, which has nothing at all to do with anything.  It’s from my little book of everything I’ve ever loved enough to jot down.  But before I’m through, let me once again say thank you, everyone, for visiting the blog, reading the blog, leaving your incredible comments and generally ruling as humans.  If not for you, I wouldn’t be doing this thing I do every day.  (:

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
~ Hafiz


Seacrest out

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REAL WEDDING [ENVY] ❦ ashley + derek ❦ Photos by Stephanie Williams

There are no words.

But I’m gonna try.


Listen, if there’s one thing you all know about me, it’s that I’m never, ever, eeeeverrrrr at a loss for words.  I’m a writer; words are my friends.  But with this wedding, I’m struggling to keep my jaw off the floor long enough to form a coherent sentence.

Jewelry-wise, bouquet-wise, dress-wise, tan-wise, everything-wise.  It’s all chanting my name.  Alison.  Alison.  Seriously, if you were sitting next to me right now, you’d think I was touching myself, what with the oooohhs and aaaahhhs that are pouring out of my mouth.

I’m truly in awe of every last bit of this affair, and I will still be in awe in the days and weeks that follow this single post.  Because this is one of those rare moments when something that’s just too good to be true… is actually a real wedding.

I’m gonna say it – if I had to choose only ten weddings to take with me to a deserted island, I dare say with real conviction that this chic, stunning affair would be among them.  The design touches – and, more importantly, the brilliance that Stephanie Williams employs in documenting them – just straight up take my breath away.  This wedding turns the volume up to eeeleven.  It’s just that good.

Here are some words from Stephanie:

Ashley + Derek are two wonderful people!  They were married at the lovely Mary Star of the Sea church in La Jolla with reception at the Darlington House.  We had so much fun documenting their wedding day, which was filled with family + friends – lots of dancing and a little Southern flare! Stephanie + Heather from Amorology did an amazing job coordinating the days events and all the lovely decor! Amazing cakes + desserts by Sweet Cheeks Baking Company.  Gorgeous wedding dress by Anne Barge.  Flowers by KLF FloralBlue Breeze Band kept all the guests dancing! Delicious food by Tapendade.

You MUST head over to Stephanie Williamsblog to check out the rest of this wow factor wedding.  MUST.

I truly hope you love this one as much as I do!  But seriously, do you love?  I’m dying to know how you guys are feeling about this wedding.

Ooh, and quick note: doesn’t her dress look a bit like the white version of the Romona Keveza stunner I featured here (tippity top) and (OMG) here?  *Sigh.*  Totally obsessed.

xoxo!  -Alison

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | wedding inspiration | Dessert Tables + Cakes + a Bit of NYC in Your Step + Boutonniere Love + Rock ‘n’ Roll Table Namers!

Love what the girls of Utterly Engaged are bringing to the world of wedding inspiration!

Just look at this incredible eye candy!  Go check out Issue #008 of their fabulous online magazine for more awe-inspiring ideas!

Event Design & Coordinator, Nancy Park of So Happi Together
Photographed by Connie M Chung
Florist: Cesar Haro Custom Floral Design
Cakes/Pastries: Kayla’s Kakes

I adore these little subway maps she pasted inside of her wedding shoes!!!

From the couples’ photographer, Caroline Tran: “Jen lived in LA & Kevin in NY.  They spent most of their relationship apart, so a travel themed engagement session & wedding was fitting.  Since Kevin is a pilot and they spent most of their relationship traveling to see each other, they wanted to incorporate their travels & the different destinations into their wedding.”

Get a load of these boutonnieres!  Precious!!

Go to Caroline Tran‘s blog for more details!  The link will take you right to this wedding. :)

How great are these record table namers?  Such a rockin’ idea for a music-themed wedding.

I’m a sucker for cute bunting banner, and those little dessert flags couldn’t look sweeter!  Want to replicate them?  Click here (scroll down about half-way through the post) for some free printable mini flags I featured recently!

Images from kat heyes via OnceWed
Dishes rented from The Crockery Cupboard

J’adore these details from a “love birds” themed party featured on Hostess with the Mostess.

I just LOVE signature drinks when they look like this:

Heart-shaped, frosted cookies.  Perfection.

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After the Ceremony: What You Should Know About What Your Guests Are Throwing at Your Face



{via wickedlyfab}

I’m sure you’ve seen some form of it… I think by now we all have.  Maybe it happened at your friend’s wedding, or you might have seen photos of it happening online somewhere.

Pictures of some form of this are among the most unforgettable images we see across the wide spectrum of images snapped during a wedding – it adds fantasy and fun to this already emotionally magical moment, and it can be the key to one seriously amazing exit shot.

What is it?  It’s whatever your guests are going to throw at you, blow at you, wave over you, or float in your general direction as you and your new sidekick-for-life exit the site of your ceremony.  And you have some options here, so choose wisely!  One quick note of advice before we begin:  be sure to check with your venue about any restrictions they may have before you fall in love with any one choice.  Depending on the site, rice, and even bubbles, might not be among your options!  Ok, let’s begin…

Lily Fink Wedding Rice Packets

{Martha Stewart Weddings}


RICE ~ Here’s the widely disputed 411: it has been rumored for quite some time that uncooked rice is a serious health hazard to birds.  The belief is that when the rice mixes with liquids in the bird’s stomach, it expands and the bird perishes as a result.  That sounds HORRIBLE and I doubt any of you want to hurt a helpless little birdie.  Well, the current understanding is that this is nothing but a rumor, and that rice is perfectly safe for any wildlife attending your ceremony.  But don’t celebrate yet; many venues do not allow guests to throw rice, so you should check with your venue before making any decisions.

Even though it seems that the death-by-rice rumor has been debunked, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for your face.  So if this bird thing is in fact a rumor, I’d suspect it was started by a very smart engaged couple who were just trying to avoid this:

looks painful

{via uphaa}



So, let’s say you’ve ditched the rice but still really like the pellet-pitching approach?  How about supplying the post-ceremony line-up with birdseed?  It’s undoubtedly bird-friendly, and still gives you the all-important feeling of tradition that so many of us seek for our nuptials.  And if you want to take it really far, you could celebrate birds and make it a wedding theme of sorts!  Here are some absolutely darling ways to bring out the birds on your big day (I simply couldn’t choose just a few, so here’s a shot of nine ideas I loooove:

"birdify" your wedding with one of these, all from Etsy!


And a few more, just ’cause…

cottonbirddesigns on Etsy - Love Birds Ivory and Pumpkin Wedding Cake Topper


winged place cards


cookie decorations

{1, cottonbirddesigns; 2 & 3, Martha Stewart Weddings}


ROSE PETALS ~ Maybe you’ve chosen to go with rose petals.  A lovely and much softer, gentler choice, both on the environment and your decolletage.  (Who wants to pick rice from within their bosom?)  Those rank among the major pros of choosing to provide your guests with a handful of rose petals to toss over you as you make your exit.  Here’s a small con of which you may not have been aware: someone has to sweep it all up, and your venue might charge you for that service.  Not awesome.  But if you’re ok with that, I’m ok with that… because when I look at this absolutely magical photo from one of the most elegant and beautiful weddings I’ve seen out there in the ether, any cost seems justified… 

petals and confetti!{Photos by Max Wanger via 100 layer cake}

By the way, there are other wow factor ways to add the delicate beauty of rose petals to your ceremony; just check out this awe-inspiring pathway of pretty petals:

rose covered aisle

{Martha Stewart Weddings}


SPARKLERS ~ Oooohh I love sparklers.  One of those guaranteed WoW factors.  How naive I once was to have thought their only purpose was to bring in the New Year!  Ever since I first saw these bright light beauties being held high, flanking the exit path of a thrilled bride and her groom as they exited their ceremony site, they have held a special place in the wedding-planning chamber of my heart.

Pros: they are a ridiculously good time, they shimmer and shine, they guarantee an AH-MAZING photo, and they make people smile.

Cons: although I’ve never heard of an accident involving sparkler use, they do seem a tad dangerous.  I don’t know for sure, it’s just a feeling.  Anything that gets lit has to be a little bit dangerous, no?  (And that works for both lit objects and lit people.)

Yes, your wedding can look like this, too (!!!)…

wedding sparklers

{Photo via ever after planner}


{Photo via bridal inquirer}

wedding sparklers

{Photo via elizabeth anne designs}

wedding sparklers

{Photo by Holland Photo Arts via}


BUBBLES: I love bubbles!  Here’s what’s great about them: they are light, low-impact (who has ever gotten hurt by a bubble in the face?), rainbow-colored floating spheres that take us back to a time when we were kids at play.  WHAT IS BETTER THAN THAT?  Not much.

love this one :)

{via wizards4weddings}



{Photo by Sakura Photography via bridal inquirer}


{Photo by Sakura Photography via bridal inquirer}


{via elizabeth anne designs}


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